My teaching experience and life here in Korea has been nothing short of incredible. Korea is a beautiful country that mixes both the traditional with the modern. In addition, I've really grown in the classroom and I've fallen in love with teaching English as a second language. The elementary students I see and teach every day have had such a positive impact on my life. I wake up each day thankful for my job.
Furthermore, Korea has provided me a great opportunity to travel, both domestically and internationally. I've been able to travel to cities all over Korea and I've been able to see temples, beaches, mountains, islands, and the list goes on and on. Additionally, I love the outdoors and as I found out quickly upon arrival, Korea is the country to be in if you want to hike and experience nature.
One of the greatest memories I have here in Korea came from a getaway weekend vacation with friends I met here. We woke up on a Saturday morning and decided to head to a city which we knew little about. Upon arrival in Gwangju we dropped our things off at the hostel and then wandered the city, visiting different parks and attractions. I had such a great time with my friends and I'm very thankful for that weekend. The thing that really stood out to me was the accessibility of travel across the entire country. My friends and I really didn't have much of an itinerary, but we were able to head to a city across the country for a nice getaway and easily find things to do and see. The weekend was full of new experiences, laughs, and adventure.
Finally, the last story I would like to share came from a normally routine train ride home from Seoul. I was heading back to Suwon after a language exchange in Seoul and after purchasing my train ticket I promptly made my way to the train. I sat down in my seat and within a few minutes three ajummas, who were obviously very close friends, came to sit in their seats which were directly next to me and in front of me. The two other friends that were sitting directly in front of me decided to swivel their chairs so they could face their friend who was sitting beside me. Now, I had unintentionally joined these ajummas train "party". The four of us began speaking through broken English and Korean as we made our way for Suwon. The women began eating, which seemed like a four course meal, all the while sharing ever single portion with me. It was such a great experience for me! The women were so kind and this is an experience that will stick with me for a long time.